REVIEW: Scorpion combines action and geek culture but has character at its heart
Season one of unique drama series Scorpion airs tonight at 7pm on CBS Action and offers up the perfect balance of thrilling action and sentimentality.
Scorpion, inspired by a true story, is a high-octane drama about eccentric genius Walter O’Brien and his team of brilliant misfits, who are the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age. As Homeland Security’s new think tank, O’Brien’s Team Scorpion includes Toby Curtis an expert behaviorist who can read anyone; Happy Quinn, a mechanical prodigy; and Sylvester Dodd, a statistics guru. The group may have no issues when it comes to problem solving, but they do, however, have their own social struggles to tackle throughout the course of the series. With the help of Paige Dineen, who has a young, gifted son, Ralph, to translate the world for them, these quirky masterminds not only solve the nation’s crises, but also eventually help one another learn how to fit in.
An unexpected combination of high-intensity action sequences, sophisticated computer jargon and emotional backstory is introduced to the viewer in the very first episode of the CBS Action series. Admittedly, it sounds like a strange blend, but Scorpion somehow manages to pull it off.
The reason this unlikely combination of genres works so well boils down to the show’s focus on character. The series’ leading group of genius misfits are all incredibly likeable, especially protagonist Walter O’Brien. Elyes Gabel is fantastic as Walter; a character who is not too dissimilar from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock in the straight-to-the-point and expert way he reads people. His blunt and sometimes offensive social interactions encourage a few laughs in the first episode, but soon Walter becomes nothing but endearing as his heartbreaking past comes to light.
Ideas of what is considered ‘normal’ are challenged as it is actually those labelled outcasts who are showcased as the most capable and valuable assets to the country, and it is refreshing to watch a show that doesn’t have your typical, one-dimensional macho men at the centre of the action, but rather a group of genuinely intelligent and relatable characters. True, if you’re like me, some of their computer-tech dialogue might go straight over your head, but you don’t need to understand this to appreciate the more touching, human elements of the show.
Scorpion: Season one begins Wednesday 22 November at 7pm on CBS Action.